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New poll puts Dix ahead of Clark in choice for premier

Feb 02 2012

British Columbians think Opposition NDP Leader Adrian Dix is the best choice for premier, surpassing Christy Clark as the person most people would like to see in government's top job, according to a new poll.

Dix's approval rating sits at 45 per cent, compared with Clark at 40 per cent, according to the Angus Reid Public Opinion poll.

The NDP has bumped up two points since November and now sits at 42 per cent support among decided voters, compared with 28 per cent for the B.C. Liberals, 19 per cent for the B.C. Conservatives and 10 per cent for the B.C. Green party.

It is the latest in a series of polls that appear to show the NDP with a commanding lead in public opinion and potentially poised to form a government if an election were called today. The provincial election is set for May 2013.

The last time the B.C. Liberals dipped below 30 per cent approval was just before Gordon Campbell resigned in November 2010, the Angus Reid poll said.

Angus Reid surveyed 800 adults online between Jan. 27 to 29, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 per cent.

Almost half of Vancouver Island residents polled support the NDP, the

survey found.

The NDP has held onto most of its supporters from the 2009 provincial election, while the Liberals have lost almost a quarter of their supporters to the Conservatives, the poll found.

Though the NDP holds almost the same level of support it had before the last election, the numbers continue to suggest a new split in the Liberal party's centre-right coalition, which has traditionally kept the NDP out of power.

Clark dismissed the poll, saying she is focused on her jobs plan and not popularity.

"If you want to spend all your time thinking about polls, you're making a big mistake as a politician, particularly because you can't govern, you can't implement your plans," she said.

Dix said he does not take the public support for granted but feels it is an indication that his "serious and calm approach" and policy proposals are resonating with the public, while people are turned off by the Liberal party's attack ads.

"We're going to have 50 polls between now and the election and they will go up and down and they are going to be over-analyzed," he said.

"Ultimately, what we need to do right now is get on and work on the issues facing the province."


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